Health and Safety Guidance 2021
Eden Drive Allotments
Health and Safety Overview
These are some of the key issues to be aware of on the allotment.
More detailed guidelines can be found in the site Trading Shed.
1. COVID 19.
These rules apply to allotees and visitors
Allottees with any signs or symptoms must not visit the site. Local and national government guidelines apply within the site. Covid-19 social distancing restrictions affect access to the trading shed. Hand hygiene measures should be taken prior to entry/on leaving the site. Many plot holders are in the ‘vulnerable’ category so it is essential that social distancing from other households is upheld. In general, if you have any potentially contagious illness you should not visit the site.
2. The Trading Shed
The contents of the shed are varied and some are potentially more hazardous when in close proximity to each other. It is the responsibility of the Field Secretary and the site committee to ensure that storage of the contents satisfies regulations and that the Trading Shed is a safe environment to store goods and equipment and to trade from.
3. Fire Prevention and Bonfires:
Bonfires are banned all year round. The site Committee retains the right to supervise a site bonfire to dispose of site clearance debris.
It is the responsibility of all allottees to ensure that the risk from fires is minimised. Ensure any flammable liquids and gases are stored securely and away from potential heat sources including radiated heat through glass. Discard cigarette butts carefully. Keep gates locked to deter arsonists.
4. Storage of Hazardous items
Ensure hazardous items are stored in approved and suitable labelled containers and safely locked away.
a) Fuel - Take only a bare minimum of petrol, paraffin or gas cylinders on to your allotment.
b) Pesticides and herbicides are deliberately made to be toxic and extreme care with their use and storage should be taken to avoid accidents. Only legal pesticides/herbicides should be used. Care needs to be taken in the use of pesticides/herbicides so as not to inadvertently contaminate other allotments, water sources, or place others at risk.
5. Use of Equipment
a) Guidance on the use of tools and equipment borrowed from the Trading Shed will be provided before you are able to use them.
b) Equipment brought on to the site by allottees should be used appropriately and if it is to be used by other allottees appropriate guidance should be given.
c) Many tools are potentially dangerous and great care and thought needs to be taken in using and storing them safely, and avoiding them being a hazard to you and others.
6. Land and water contamination
Only use proprietary pesticides/herbicides as allowed by the Committee and in the correct quantities as per manufacturer’s instructions and as minimally as possible. If needed, pesticides/herbicides should only be used in a way that does not contaminate common water supplies or damage common areas and neighbouring plots. Crops grown in contaminated ground are potentially hazardous. Fuel or other contaminant leaks should be dug out, not hosed down. Fertilisers (e.g. manure) should not be allowed to leach nitrates into water courses. Covering of plots should be with horticultural materials and do not use materials (e.g. domestic carpets) which leach harmful chemicals.
7. Water, ponds and streams
Unless otherwise labelled assume water on the allotment is undrinkable. Do not use communal water butts for washing tools or containers, as this spreads contamination. Small ponds and open water containers on plots can be a danger to children and should be protected. Stagnant water poses health risks. After heavy rain the stream can be deep and speed fast so beware of slipping, Any issues/concerns must be reported to the site Committee. Water storage butts need to be safely secured to avoid accidents.
8. Livestock and pets
Livestock must not be kept on the allotment. Pets brought to the allotment need to be controlled to avoid annoyance and potential injury to others through distraction or attack, damaging or contaminating plots and endangering wildlife. Dogs must be on leads or enclosed on the allottees plot. Any fouling must be dealt with immediately and removed from the allotment site.
9. Wildlife and vermin
Much wildlife is beneficial to the allotment and certain wildlife is protected. Hazards for wildlife include low level netting, use of pesticides, litter and hazardous debris (e.g. broken glass) and stacked wood.
Only advised methods and equipment should be used to eliminate vermin. Infestations should be reported to the Field Secretary.
Permission for beehives must be given by the Allotment Committee. A safe location must be agreed, and the hives actively managed by a registered beekeeper, who must provide signage for allottees about safety procedures.
10. Personal Safety and infection
Allottees are responsible for the safety of others as well as themselves. Often allottees spend long periods on their own or away from others on the allotment so do ensure the site gate is securely locked. Avoid using power tools when alone.
It may be advisable to check that your tetanus inoculation is up to date, especially if you are clearing an overgrown plot.
Wearing gardening gloves offers some protection from cuts.
A first aid kit is available on the shelf in the toilet; please report any injuries in the site incident book so the first aid kit can be replenished.
11. Safe access and transit.
Paths and tracks should be kept clear of obstructions to allow safe access. There should be no overhanging branches, canes or insecure structures obstructing the paths. Allottees are responsible for maintaining the paths adjacent to their plot.
12. Visitors to the allotment
The behaviour of visitors is the responsibility of the allottee who invited them. Visitors should abide by all the rules that apply to allottees. Children and visitors must remain on the allottees plot and not wander around the site unaccompanied.
13. Allotment risk assessments are to be carried out on key hazards and the findings acted upon. The Field Secretary of each allotment site will maintain these records and ensure appropriate actions are taken.
14. Annual Review.
The health and safety guidance and risk assessments will be reviewed annually immediately prior to the AGM.